ATHENS, Ga. – Graduate pitcher Mary Wilson Avant guided the 16th-ranked Georgia softball team to a combined no-hitter of Longwood Friday afternoon at Jack Turner Stadium. The Bulldogs run-ruled the Lancers in six innings, 10-2.
The no-hitter was the 45th in Georgia softball history and the fourth Avant has been a part of. Avant (3-0) pitched five full frames, giving up no hits or runs, and striking out 10 batters. Freshman Madison Kerpics tossed one inning in relief, striking out each batter she faced and gaining her first three strikeouts in a Bulldog uniform. Fellow freshman Britton Rogers also made her debut in the circle for Georgia.
Georgia (3-1) combined for 11 hits against the Lancers (0-1). Three Bulldogs recorded multiple hits including a career-best four hits from junior Lacey Fincher, also driving in three runs. In her first start of the season, fellow junior Savana Sikes also earned a career-best with three hits, driving in two runs. Fincher and Sikes each knocked a pair of doubles, the first multi-double game for both. Senior catcher Jessica Morgan picked up two hits including a three-run home run.
The Georgia offense came out of the gate strong led by a single off the bat of sophomore Sydney Kuma in the bottom of the first. Kuma reached scoring position on a passed ball, and Sikes followed with an RBI single to the right side to plate Kuma, putting the Bulldogs up 1-0 in the opening stanza. Sikes reignited the Georgia offense in its end of the third inning by knocking a one-out double. A single from Fincher plated Sikes, and sophomore Sara Mosley followed up with home run over the left field wall, extending the Bulldog lead to 4-0. Georgia added to its lead in the bottom of the fourth when sophomore Jaiden Fields scored on an RBI fielder’s choice off the bat of Sikes, 5-0.
Longwood broke through in the top of the fifth to get on the board. After walking the bases loaded, another walk plated the first Lancer run of the 2021 season. A sacrifice fly to left scored another to cut into the Georgia lead, 5-2.
Fincher led off the bottom of the fifth with a double to right center. After a walk to Mosely, Morgan blasted her second home run of the season into the trees in right center to lengthen the lead to 8-2. A leadoff walk drawn by freshman pinch hitter Cayla Bishop, followed by Sike’s third hit on the day in the bottom of the sixth put two runners on base for Georgia. Fincher’s second double of the game plated both runners and sealed the run-rule victory for the Bulldogs in six innings, 10-2.
Georgia and Longwood will square off again Saturday at 11 a.m. at Jack Turner Stadium. Georgia will then play Kent State at 2:15 p.m.